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9 badass bike components - easy ways to make your bike look cool

Because coolness doesn't always come fitted as standard

You won’t find a ‘badass’ section in your local bike shop but if you look carefully you’ll find certain components that can't fail to make your bike look cooler.

We’re not talking about performance here, although most of the products below are designed to give you some sort of advantage in terms of weight, aerodynamics, or whatever. That’s not the point, though, and practicality certainly isn’t a consideration either. No, we’re simply and unashamedly showing you stuff that look badass. That’s it.

If you want to point out that a £3,500 set of wheels just isn’t a sensible purchase for most of us, fill yer boots, but sensible and cool are two different things.

That brings us on to one other factor: cost. Cool bike components aren’t necessarily expensive… but they usually are. If they were cheap everyone would have them, and if everyone had them they wouldn't be cool any more. Sorry, I'm not particularly happy about this either to be perfectly honest with you, but that's just the way the world works. Don’t shoot the messenger.

If you’ve got other badass components to add to our list, let’s hear about them in the comments below.

Nokon Universal Cable Set — £53.99


Of course, you can use the standard cables that come fitted to your bike or in the pack with your new shifters, but they’re just not badass. Nokon cables, on the other hand, with anodised aluminium outers, are. The practical reasons for fitting them are decreased friction and lightweight, but the main thing is that they look very cool.

Hope Jockey wheels — £39.99


The idea of ceramic jockey wheels is that they reduce drivetrain friction. That’s all well and good but the committed badassateer knows that the fact that they look cool is equally important so don’t go for anonymous black or grey. You need to choose red, orange, purple or blue for maximum points.

Zipp 454 NSW Carbon Clinchers — £3,500


“£3,500 for a set of wheels?!?”

Yes, but with their Sawtooth rim profile these look fast even when stationary. Yes, but the shaping is inspired by the pectoral fin of a humpback whale and how many other wheels can boast that?

(It's none, by the way).

Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Tekno Superflow Saddle — £310.48 / £348.99

2020 Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Tekno Superflow.jpg

The Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Tekno Superflow is the ultimate statement saddle. Engineered in partnership with an F1 constructor, it is a carbon fibre chassis for your sit bones that's jaw-droppingly expensive, breathtakingly light, beautifully finished and actually surprisingly comfortable.

THM Carbones Clavicula SE cranks — £816.81

THM Clavicula SE (1).jpg

So you noticed that THM’s Carbones Clavicula cranks aren’t cheap (the price above is without the chainrings). They are all carbon, though, including the axle, and very lightweight at just 420g (including bottom bracket).

Vision Metron 6D Integrated Bar and Stem — £460.99

2020 Vision Metron 6D Integrated Bar and Stem 1.jpg

You’re absolutely right, a combined handlebar and stem doesn’t give you the set-up versatility of separate components but it's still somehow cooler. Maybe it’s because it gives the front of your bike a cleaner look. Vision's Metron 6D cockpit is made from carbon fibre, of course, and has loads of internal channels for your cables or hoses, again adding to the neatness.

TRP R970 SL brakes — £378.00

TRP R970 SL brake

Light weight is badass so these brakes are off to a good start at just 104g per brake. Chuck in the fact that they have forged and CNC machined magnesium arms, titanium hardware and SwissStop pads and you’re onto a winner.

Arundel Mandible carbon bottle cage — £65

Arundel Mandible Bottle Cage.jpg

The Mandible has been around for a long time now and it still looks cool. It weighs just 28g and it holds your water bottle ultra secure. It might only be a water bottle cage but it’ll increase the sexiness of your bike by 9%*.

Read our review

* Perhaps.

Kapz custom headset cap — from £16.95

Kapz wiggo03.jpg

Most headset caps are fairly nondescript and not remotely badass, and for that reason they must go. Kapz will put anything you want onto a headset cap with prices starting at £16.95

Do you have any more suggestions? Let us know down below.

About Buyer's Guides

The aim of buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

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As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.

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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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PRSboy | 3 years ago

Most badass thing I saw was a fella and his partner climbing Ventoux, he on a hardtail MTB with their toddler in a pull-along!

Richard1982 | 7 years ago

Aren't those Zipp wheels just a cosmetic rehash of these from a few years back?


Aezreth | 7 years ago

THM's logotype looks like is was made with microsoft word by an intern, totally ruins the cool for me at least.

Super Domestique | 7 years ago

If this is a giveaway then count me in!

ktache | 7 years ago
1 like

I have the Nokons in silver, brake and gear.  Love them.  Ultimate bling, proper sparkly, for the first few years anyway.  Started to rot after a few years,  little gold bits first then the rest.  Replaced the PTFE bit and then inners a few years ago, luckily I had a few spares because some of the bit were to far gone, crumbled in my fingers.  Will be buying in black next time, not as bling I know, but might stay nicer for longer.  And coating everything in oil before assembly, and after, and wiping down with an oily rag regular.

Don't let me put you off though.  I will be buying another set.  Maybe upgrading other bikes.  And the sparkly ones look so good.  And if cared for, maybe for many years.  Shifting and braking stayed crisp long after outers faded.  I am talking 10 or 11 years, for one set.

TheFatAndTheFurious | 7 years ago

No.10 : Peter Sagan

allez1984 | 7 years ago

Have a Kapz, they are totally badass!!

Simon E | 7 years ago

"badass"? Yeah, of course it is.

Looks more like ATGNI to me.

ashliejay | 7 years ago

you could easily put any hope component on here, as they've got pretty much everything to compliment the colour of your frame.

step83 replied to ashliejay | 7 years ago
ashliejay wrote:

you could easily put any hope component on here, as they've got pretty much everything to compliment the colour of your frame.


Exactly, I have hope jockeys and bar ends on mine. I do have a Kapz stemcap an I did consider the Nokons but they looks so fiddly and apparently can be noisy.

Spangly Shiny replied to step83 | 2 years ago

Noise easily sorted using GT85 after every wash.

ktache replied to Spangly Shiny | 1 year ago

ACF50, stops the rot and no noise for this set.

georgeince | 7 years ago

Can someone please render these all together...?  10

flathunt | 7 years ago


belgravedave replied to flathunt | 7 years ago
flathunt wrote:


Total genuis.

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